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CristiCCristi Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in New Member Introductions
My Multiple level herniations and problems are listed in a nutshell in my signature. I am on long lasting narcotics and having great difficulty finding a surgeon who will operate on my neck first (because my spinal cord is compressed making my neck unstable). The surgeon I have seen is supposed to be the best in the Pacific NW at doing ADR with Prodisc-C. He will not operate on me until I am only taking 3 Vicodin a day. How the high heavens do you get down to that with everything that is going on pain wise in my neck and back, and throw in bad bad bad nerve pain in my left leg and fingers that go numb and shooting pains down my arm. I am running on no sleep (<2 hours a nite most nights) because of the pain. I have a proverbial pharmacuetical company in my cupboard.

I don't know how to find a surgeon in WA who will do the operation while I am on the long lasting narcotics, and no just stopping taking them is not going to work. On my profile page I listed all of the issues going on in more detail if that would help anyone give me advise. Even my pain management doctor does not reccomned taking me off them. Any help anyone can provide will be greatly appreciated.


  • Welcome to the forum! Just wanted to say hello. I can't provide you with any answers to your questions but I'm sure someone will post who has similar issues with long acting drugs and surgery.

    If your pain is under control with your current medications, I can totally understand why you wouldn't want to go off of them for any reason.

    I wonder if you spoke with an anesthesiologist if they would be able to explain the reasons surgery can't be done on your current pain meds protocol or possibly give you an alternate option.

    Good luck and take care of you!

  • I'm sorry the Surgeon won't operate with long lasting ER meds. You should ask a plan for you to refer you to Pain Management to help you go to short acting meds or ask your Primary to help. Although don't understand why you need to lessen your meds although I've heard others had to do that also. I hope someone can help you soon to get pain free or surgery. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Thank you Judy, and Charry. I am in pain management and he does not think it is a good idea to take me off the long lasting because of the multiple levels and issues involved. It is the surgeon, who is supposedly the best at ADR in this area who will not operate if you are taking anymore than 3 vicodin a day. I, like you, have been off work for almost a year now and this is a work related claim. I am in so much pain with my neck, low back, and bad bad nerve pain in my left leg that there is no way that I could go backwards on pain control. I am taking 3600mg 3 pills 4xday of gabapentin, 15mg 3xday oxycontin, 7.5/325 3xday endocet, 350mg 4xday Soma, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Lexapro, stomach pills, thyroid pills, water pills, and high blood pressure pill. Way too many....they have tried everything they know to control the pain and it hasn't worked, every combination of this that and the other. I just know there must be a surgeon here in WA that will work on me as is. I just haven't found him yet.
  • I'm concerned about this Christi. I think you need to ask the Surgeon if you prolong the surgery is there a chance of nerve damage? Or is it a matter of stabilizing and less pain? Maybe one day of Narcos then the surgery. I wish you all the best. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • The surgeon is at a trauma center and teaching hospital. His "Rule" is just that, they don't seem to care that I have all three levels of my back affected and causing pain and nerve issues. His dumb a** "rule" is you have to be off of them for 30 days. That's 30 DAYS. You may as well lock me in a rubber room and put a fancy jacket on me because I would be likely to chew my arm off. ;') Yes, from everything I have read, which is alot, the nerve pain and numbness in my thigh could very well become permanent. I think the words are that they are hopeful the symptoms will be relieved but that there is a chance that it could become permanent! Well no **** sherlock. That nerve is suffering some mighty irritation. Sorry for my cavelier attitude, I am just kind of fed up and suffering from about 2 hours of sleep a night.
  • Holey Cow Cristi!

    Have you sought opinions out of your area? That sounds more extreme than anything I have heard before! My surgeon isn't near that restrictive. What have other surgeons told you? Are they telling you why? Meaning,..."The Anesthesiologist won't do it", "It is only my preference", "It is medically recommended." Something?

    What happens to the guy that is into daily drugs and gets into a severe car accident? Are they not going to perform emergency surgery since he has narcotics in him? Sorry, just blown away here. Maybe there is something valid to it, just seems extreme. Keep us posted please. Take care.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • hi and welcome to the forum! we are here to offer you support and answer what questions you can. i use teaching hospitals all the time. i just had my gallbladder out and had problems because i am on heavy narcotics. for many of the just "standard" tests i had to have an anesthesiologist come in and sedate me because my body could not be put into enough of a sleep cycle with just iv medication, standard.. when i came out of surgery i had to be given an epidural block for pain relief because there was no iv meds strong enough to control my pain due to my use of morphine for pain control.. this use of pain medications presents major problems and unless you have a doctor, who understands this and is willing to work with you, you will not have a successful outcome... i can clearly see that just from my smaller procedure.... i wish you the best and suggest you try another hospital. there are 1000's!!!!!! good luck!!!! Jenny
  • I don't understand why you have to come off the meds. I was an anaesthetic nurse and i've never heard of anyone having to decrease their narcotic meds before. There are some meds you need to stop ie. anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen as it increases bleeding.
    I was on most of what you were narcotic wise and had a fusion without issues.
    Have you asked him specifically why you have to and if it's just one your drugs or all of them. Perhaps it's one of the pain drugs that increases bleeding? Maybe ask him if there are alternative drugs you can use in the interim.
    I'm baffled, the reason why you are taking these meds is you need surgery, when you've had the surgery you will be prescribed these meds.
    I'd ask him to explain in detail or even get your pain management doctor to call him and discuss it?
    I hope you find a solution, because not having pain meds for 30 days is inconceivable with your problems.
  • Thank you for your post. I am on oxycontin 15mg, percocet 7.5/325 something like that I don't want to get up and go look. We have tried to get him to have a pain management doctor follow me at the hospital during my stay and surgery but he still won't do it. He says that it will be too difficult to control the pain afterwards. No S*** Sherlock! 90% of the time it's not controlled now. Even my pain management doctor thinks its a bad idea to even consider. I think I've figured out the major problem when it comes to finding a new neurosurgeon, they have you blocked for maybe a 15 to 20 min appt. at the very most, they will not give me a longer time. The problem is that they cannot possibly get through all the info in that time, and their tendancy has been to just focus on the "worst" problem and they don't seem to think that the rest is a big deal. Well it is, the low back pain is causing all kinds of horrendous nerve pain down my left leg. I'm taking 2700mg of Gabapentin for that. The only other thing I can think of is that I am quite heavy, but it is very difficult to lose weight when half the time you can barely walk. I went through a very detailed "what is my risk factor" for this surgery and she pronounced me a moderate risk. I am extremely frustrated and depressed and I'm already on 3 yes three different anti-depressants so I don't cry every day. These doctors are making me crazy and on top of that I am starting to get over the flu but now they think I have interstitial pneumona(sp?) Anyway I don't even have the strength to do much more on the computer tonight, I got on here because I couldn't sleep. Maybe when I get over these illnesses I'll be able to focus on finding a neuro guy again. Sorry this is so long, I guess I needed to vent ;')
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